Many fight fans felt devastated when they first heard that Francis Ngannou was no longer a part of the UFC, which was announced by UFC boss Dana White not long ago. ‘The Predator’ was not only the UFC heavyweight champion of the world, but he also garnered a huge following due to his explosive performances inside the octagon. Nevertheless, fans got the idea that there were some bigger reasons for his exit than just the pay.
After exiting UFC, Ngannou signed a lucrative offer with PFL and will reportedly fight there next year. Before that, he will be up against WBC champion Tyson Fury in a heavyweight boxing match that is scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 28.
During a recent episode of the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, Ngannou made a guest appearance and shed light on the reasons behind his compelling decision to leave the world’s biggest MMA promotion. The heavyweight champion listed a number of things done by the UFC that he felt were not right. He also mentioned how UFC management did not keep its word when it came to a part of his compensation.
So, according to Ngannou, when he was in talks with the UFC for a new contract, the promotion promised him to pay a certain amount for his old fights too. This act of paying for past work is called ‘back pay’. However, when the time came, Ngannou felt devastated when he was refused the same. “Then I didn’t know what to say. Its against your word,” exclaimed the former UFC champion to Joe Rogan.
This was one of the incidents when he felt ‘cheated’ by the UFC, and the whole situation played a huge role in his decision of leaving the company.
Francis Ngannou left UFC for ‘freedom rather than money’
Earlier this year, Francis Ngannou chose to part ways with the UFC after enduring a frequently turbulent contract dispute. While Ngannou’s contract negotiations with the UFC weren’t primarily centered around financial matters, he sought greater flexibility to engage in boxing, secure sponsors, and more.
During an interview on senior journalist Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, the heavyweight veteran revealed that he turned down a UFC offer in order to safeguard his “freedom.”. “It doesn’t matter how much [money] is in that contract; I am not free,” said Francis Ngannou.
The Cameroonian fighter is all set for a big pay check, as his boxing match with Tyson Fury will pay him more than what his entire UFC career did. If he is able to make an impact in that fight, maybe some great opportunities await the 36-year-old.